Self Published Authors Get Ready, You're Being Dumped

If you’re a self published author, get ready for some disappointing news.

Your usefulness is coming to an end. Yes, you have all worked very hard for very little return in building an empire to be exploited by multinational enterprises, but sadly, your job is almost done and it’s time now for you to be given the ‘boot’.

It all started with the Amazon’s KDP Select program that offered ‘manna from heaven‘ in exchange for granting Amazon exclusivity to your ebooks. And yes, it was very nice for a few months, until the rules were changed. Without notice of course.

You see, the problem was that self published titles were just way too popular, so their ‘weighting’ on bestseller lists had to be reduced. From 100% down to 10% of their value.

Yet even after this dramatic change, these pesky self published titles managed to claw their way to the top of bestselling lists. Not something that would have pleased the Big Five I’m sure. So more work needed to be done.

The next move came with the massive deletions of reviews on self published titles. No, not the paid reviews by registered Amazon reviewers working on Fiverr, but those nasty reviews written by pesky self published authors who actually read a book and honestly posted a review.

Clearly Amazon believed that this was just not right that authors should be allowed to review books, even though major publishers have wrought  the book review system for decades and habitually use well known authors to write book reviews. But what’s a little hypocrisy when an end needs a means?

If these measures weren’t enough to ‘kill off’ these pesky Indies, then came this new move.

‘Add to all this the unexplained changes in Amazon’s algorithms that keep the books in the KDP program from competing with publishing house titles as best-sellers.’ Source: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2012/11/15/velvet-rope-a-dope/

My understanding of this last change was to preclude self published titles from appearing alongside major published titles in the ‘Customers Also Bought’ widget on Amazon book pages. Judging by my own ebook sales, it has worked spectacularly well, as my unit sales dropped off a cliff.

So what happens after the destruction of self publishing?

To fill the new void that is going to be created by ‘killing off’ the Indies and genuine self published authors, the Big Five are offering their own self publishing services. Simon & Schuster are the latest to offer this …..

This is not self publishing. It is old fashioned vanity publishing that charges anywhere between $1,500 and $25,000 to publish a book, with little chance of success. In fact it is a very old fox in new sheep’s clothing – Author Solutions and Author House.

My advice has always been, do not walk away from them, run away! Vanity publishing has such a bad reputation, but as it has now been renamed and re-marketed as self publishing by the Big Five, everything is ok. Right? Wrong!

If you’re a self published author, the message is clear, and get ready for more bad news in the near future. All your free ebook giveaways were for nothing. You were all just way too popular for the good of the publishing industry, who are now struggling to afford their champagne lunches every day.

But boy, did you help sell millions of Kindles. Well done. But you’ve served your purpose, now pack your bags and get the hell out of publishing!

Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this.

Self Published Authors Get Ready, You’re Being Dumped

250 thoughts on “Self Published Authors Get Ready, You’re Being Dumped

  • 16/02/2013 at 10:24 am
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    Despite everything, I’ve yet to experience anything negative in the form of reviews being withdrawn, for instance. :)

    • 16/02/2013 at 11:08 am
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      Jack, all one of the Amazon trolls have to do is report one of you reviews as paid or made by a friend and it will be gone. Amazon will pull reviews in a flash without validating any allegations. Yet on the other hand will refuse to remove reviews that are personal attacks made by trolls who admit they didn’t buy or read the book. I have been attack repeatedly because of my essay, “Stephen King Don’t Know Shit” in response to his essay “Guns”. If you want to see some of the worst reviews ever go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B6QBCXQ and read them. I have zero tolerance for trolls so I call them out.

      I have to say that the essay is selling very well regardless of a 2.0 rating because of the personal attack reviews. But clearly things are completely out of hand at Amazon. Sadly Jack I would have to say it’s not a matter of if Amazon pulls one or all of your 5-star reviews but when.

  • 02/11/2017 at 2:39 am
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    An interesting article!

    Any period of Independent growth in book sales was going to face cartel-like behaviour from large-scale publishers as by the time you are their size it becomes a matter of ecosystem.

    As a personal writer and author I’m torn between the comfort of exploitation and the rugged frontier of garnering more of the lion’s share of my work. I know, I had to re-read that last sentence a few times myself. But the truth of the matter is that as a writer and author I would like to spend as much time as possible being creative rather than taking on the role of self-promotion.

    At the end of the day I, and sadly we collectively, lack the power to stand against the whims of large scale corporate book culture. How we as individual authors negotiate the landscape is each of our own choices to make and gives us what little power we may have. So I don’t challenge anyone’s individual choice as to their own stance on the subject.

  • 10/01/2018 at 11:56 am
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    It’s not Amazon. It’s all ultra-rich people/corporations/politicians, you name it. They’re not pretending anymore – they want every go*ddamn dollar in the world and they want it right now. They don’t care how it affects the economy, or individuals, or specific industries. They’re as addicted to money & power as drug addicts are to heroin. They only respond to overwhelming public anger. Maybe a hash tag of #DontBuyAmazonTradPubbedBooks, followed by people actually NOT buying them?

  • 04/02/2018 at 7:04 pm
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    We publish in interesting times. But I refuse to quit.

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